Opinions on... Gay Marriage

This week, HCX is pleased to introduce an exciting, new, weekly feauture! The 'Opinions On...' Blog. Every week we will be looking at a controversial issue that has sprung up in the news, presenting the case for and against it and showing you the opinions of some famous faces and fellow students alike. Without further ado, here is the opening blog post on Gay Marriage.

Despite society’s increasingly liberal attitude to sex and sexual orientation, gay marriage is still causing a taboo amongst politicians. New laws that will permit gay couples to marry are expected to be introduced in England and Wales before the next election in 2015. In Northern Ireland, however, there are no such similar plans. Currently homosexual couples can enter a civil partnership but are not allowed to marry. A proposal to legalise gay marriage was rejected as recently as October 2012.

At the moment same sex marriage is legal in 11 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, the Netherlands, being the first country to pass the bill 2000; Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. In the United States same sex marriages are not permitted federally but gay couples can marry in nine of the fifty states and one district. Israel does not recognize same sex marriage performed on its own territory but does recognize it if it is carried out in foreign jurisdictions. For many other countries, including the United Kingdom, it is still a debate that is being addressed. The conflict over same-sex marriage is not a simple one. It involves many legislative, cultural, religious and family issues.

The Argument For Same Sex Marriage:

·      Marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice and the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry.

·      Homosexuality is a normal variant of adult sexuality; gay men and lesbians possess the same potential and desire for sustained loving and lasting relationships as heterosexuals, including loving and parenting children.

·      Studies conducted in several countries indicate that support for the legalization of same-sex marriage increases with higher levels of education and that support is strong among younger people.

·      Legalizing same sex marriage acknowledges the legitimacy of homosexual relationships.

·      The institution of marriage will not suffer from allowing homosexual couples to marry.

The Argument Against Same Sex Marriage:

·      The traditional concept of marriage has never included homosexual couples and that this traditional union should be preserved.

·      Children should have a mother and a father. It is not the norm to have same sex parents. Some believe that this subjects the child to bullying.

·      Some argue that homosexual couples are not biologically designed to naturally reproduce and therefore, it is unnatural for them to have children and so should not be allowed to get married.

·      Some fear that by allowing gay marriage gender roles will become confused along with the terms: mother, father, husband and wife.

·      A large proportion of the opinions against same sex marriage stems from religious beliefs that it goes against the Church and therefore, is an offence to God.

What do you think?

 

·      "Put simply, it's not right that a couple who love each other and want to formalise a commitment to each other should be denied the right to marry." - Home Secretary Theresa May and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.

·      “Sexual orientation does not come into it; marriage is about love and a commitment regardless of whether you are a homosexual or heterosexual couple.” – Jessica, Exeter University Student.

·      Anti Anti Gay Marriage Commercial

·      “I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine.” – President Barack Obama.

·      “Traditionally, I have always thought that marriage is something for heterosexual couples but I think that ultimately gay marriage is inevitable as attitudes are changing.” Exeter University Student.

·      “I’ve always opposed gay marriage. I believe that we should provide equal rights to people regardless of their sexual orientation but I do not believe that marriage should be between two people of the same gender.” – Mitt Romney.

·      "I am absolutely clear that no religious organisation will ever be forced to conduct marriages for same-sex couples, and I would not bring in a bill which would allow that.” – Maria Miller, Culture Secretary.

·      “I think in our modern society where homosexuality is widely accepted and respected, we should not then prevent such couples from getting married.” Ben, Exeter University Student.

·      “Marriage has always been for a man and a woman it will lead to a breakdown of the family”  - Anonymous.

 

What is clear is that same sex marriage is still a complex and for some, a controversial debate. Here at HCX we would like to know your opinions; which side of the debate are you on?

 

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